Matthew 21:32
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

King James Bible
For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Darby Bible Translation
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the tax-gatherers and the harlots believed him; but *ye* when ye saw [it] repented not yourselves afterwards to believe him.

World English Bible
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe him.

Young's Literal Translation
for John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye did not believe him, and the tax-gatherers and the harlots did believe him, and ye, having seen, repented not at last -- to believe him.

Matthew 21:32 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

John came unto you in the way of righteousness - Proclaiming the truth, and living agreeably to it. Or, John came unto you, who are in the way of righteousness. This seems rather to be the true meaning and construction of this passage. The Jews are here distinguished from the Gentiles. The former were in the way of righteousness, had the revelation of God, and the ordinances of justice established among them; the latter were in the way of unrighteousness, without the Divine revelation, and iniquitous in all their conduct: John came to both, preaching the doctrine of repentance, and proclaiming Jesus the Christ. To say that it was John who came in the way of righteousness, and that to him the words refer, is, in my opinion, saying nothing; for this was necessarily implied: as he professed to come from God, he must not only preach righteousness, but walk in it.

It is very difficult to get a worldly minded and self-righteous man brought to Christ. Examples signify little to him. Urge the example of an eminent saint, he is discouraged at it. Show him a profligate sinner converted to God, him he is ashamed to own and follow; and, as to the conduct of the generality of the followers of Christ, it is not striking enough to impress him. John, and Christ, and the apostles preach; but, to multitudes, all is in vain.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Matthew 3:1-8 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea...

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it...

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus said the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein...

Luke 3:8-13 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father...

2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it...

and ye believed.

Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, from where was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say...

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil.

Luke 7:29,30 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John...

John 5:33-36 You sent to John, and he bore witness to the truth...

Acts 13:25-29 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there comes one after me...

the publicans.

Luke 7:37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house...



Psalm 81:11,12 But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me...

Zechariah 7:11,12 But they refused to listen, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear...

John 5:37-40 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape...

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Hebrews 6:6-8 If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh...

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

The Stone of Stumbling
Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.'--MATT. xxi. 44. As Christ's ministry drew to its close, its severity and its gentleness both increased; its severity to the class to whom it was always severe, and its gentleness to the class from whom it never turned away. Side by side, through all His manifestation of Himself, there were the two aspects: 'He showed Himself froward' (if I may quote the word) to the self-righteous
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A New Kind of King
'All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass.'--MATT. xxi. 4, 5. Our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem is one of the comparatively few events which are recorded in all the four Gospels. Its singular unlikeness to the rest of His life, and its powerful influence in bringing about the Crucifixion, may account for its prominence in the narratives. It took place probably
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Sermon for Palm Sunday
How a man ought in all His works to regard God alone, and purely to make Him his end without anything of his own, and shall freely and simply perform all these works for the glory of God only, and not seek his own, nor desire nor expect any reward. Wherewith he may do such works without any self-appropriation or reference to time and number, before or after, and without modes. How the Divine Word speaks and reveals itself in the soul, all in a lofty and subtile sense. Matt. xxi. 10-17.--"And when
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

"Because the Carnal Mind is Enmity against God, for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. "
Rom. viii. 7.--"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Unbelief is that which condemns the world. It involves in more condemnation than many other sins, not only because more universal, but especially because it shuts up men in their misery, and secludes them from the remedy that is brought to light in the gospel. By unbelief I mean, not only that careless neglect of Jesus Christ offered for salvation, but that which is the
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Matthew 5:46
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Matthew 21:31
"Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.

Luke 3:12
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"

Luke 7:29
(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John.

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